A creamy, Greek version of the Indian raita, tzatziki is the perfect summer accompaniment to falafel and pita. Mint, pepper and garlic give this creamy side or sauce a great punch!
- 1 cucumber, peeled
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4-6 cloves garlic, minced finely
- 1½ cup sour cream (if using plain or greek yoghurt, hang 2 cups yoghurt for 4-6 hours and add 8 tablespoons fresh cream)
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper powder click here to buy (or coarsely ground black pepper)
- 4-6 tablespoons freshly chopped mint
- Slice cucumber in half lengthwise. Remove seeds from the center. Slice into paper-thin half-moon slices.
- Rub salt on slices and put in a colander for water to drain from cucumbers.
- Using a whisk, blend garlic, salt, sour cream and pepper. Squeeze liquid out of cucumbers and add to sour cream, and mix well.
- Finally, add chopped fresh mint. Adjust salt and pepper. Chill for at least two hours before serving.
This is basically a cucumber and yoghurt raita as we call it in India, but much thicker. I love the garlicky flavour. And while I personally love mint, you could substitute dill for mint, or just use both for more flavour! I pound my garlic in a mortar, but you could just mince the garlic. Sour cream is nice and thick, although I prefer to make my tzatziki with homemade yoghurt which is hung in a thin muslin cloth for 5-6 hours, then, if very sour, mixed with cream. Pepper is a must (says @thepeppercook !) If not white then black please, but no chilies! You can also be more authentic and add some extra virgin olive oil on top if you have some, for that olive-y flavour.